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Sense and Sensibility in Sentencing - Taking Stock of International Criminal Punishment

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Chapter Summary

The purpose of punishment is to impose a meaningful sanction on the perpetrator of an accomplished crime. But is it ever possible to translate fully an accomplished crime into a meaningful sanction? The answer to this tedious question, of course, depends largely on what is meant by ?a meaningful sanction'. This chapter offers a few observations on international sentencing based respectively upon the practice of the two UN Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR). The sentencing principles developed so far by the Tribunals in respect of war crimes are of course derived from the principles in domestic law. The chapter also takes a closer look at the judicial process whereby sentences are determined under international criminal law by international criminal tribunals that are competent to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Keywords: domestic law; humanity; ICTR; ICTY; international criminal law; international criminal tribunals; judicial process; punishment; sentencing principles; war crimes



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